Monday, February 8, 2010

Advice for Preventing Scars and Healing Them Faster

In continuing our examination of scars and scar treatment, I wanted to offer you some ways to reduce scarring.  Because there are many different types of scars that result from injury, surgery, acne and burns, they can take a serious toll on your physical appearance and emotional health.

Over the years I've discovered a few natural scar remedies to reduce the appearance of scars and help them disappear faster. Some of these remedies I've used and others have been recommended by others.

Note the natural scar remedies below are also effective for older scars, one of which I am currently using* and finding to be quite effective.  Follow this advice to reduce and/or eliminate the appearance of scars:

  • Always cleanse any cuts, scrapes or bruises right away.  Betadine solution is a good choice over Hydrogen Peroxide for initial cleansing. Unfortunately, while Hydrogen Peroxide does kill the germs that may infect a wound, it also prevents new skin cells from properly forming
  • Keep slight pressure applied to a wound while it is healing (ex: snuggly wrapped non-stick gauze). This will prevent the skin from pulling apart.
  • Do not pick at scabs. This will most certainly cause a scar. Allow scabs to fall off naturally.
  • Apply natural agents like Vitamine E, Aloe Vera gel/cream or Wheat Germ Oil daily. A combination of 2 of the 3 may also prove more helpful.
  • Combine the application of wheat germ oil with cold laser therapy. Cold laser therapy is performed by many alternative health practitioners.*

Note: Always wait until a wound or cut has healed before applying an anti-scar treatment.  Then you can massage the ointments into the healing area to promote circulation and break down the extra collagen that is forming. This will help reduce the appearance of a scar as it is the collagen that causes the skin to thicken.
  • Avoid sun exposure as much as possible and when you do go outdoors, always use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 at minimum
  • Avoid using harsh abrasives or harsh ingredients on the skin. 
  • A new discovery (at least for me it is!): Manuka Honey - a special honey from New Zealand which has been shown to provide antioxidant active and reduce inflammation while naturally lifted scabs away so that the skin can heal evenly. Apply daily to scabbed skin.

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